Both teams will be looking for a winning start to the new campaign…
Mumbai FC kickoff their I-League 2017 campaign against regional rivals DSK Shivajians at the Copperage Stadium in the city on Sunday.
Both teams are starting a fresh in their own way. The hosts are now under the stewardship of the experienced Santosh Kashyap after having parted company with long-time player and coach Khalid Jamil and having narrowly avoided relegation last season. The Mumbaikars are also a much-transformed unit after a massive overhaul of the squad that has seen major investment.
DSK themselses are under new management with Englishman Dave Rogers taking over the reigns of a squad that has a nice blend of experience and quality youngsters from the club’s famed academy. Both outfits are looking for stronger campaigns after a disapointing last season in the top flight.
For the hosts defender Allan Dias is out with a hamstring knock. The identity of their foreigners also remains unknown. But, manager Kashyap has promised new signings in the coming week.
The Shivajians have a clean bill of health but it will be interesting to see what combination the manager picks for this clash.
Both teams have played each other twice whch was last season and have a win each.
Man to Watch
Thoi Singh-Mumbai FC: The midfielder is a new arrival from champions Bengaluru FC. He was part of the Blues outfit in their two title-winning campaigns as well as the spectacular run to the AFC Cup Final.The midfielder will enjoy the dual responsibility of breaking up opposition attacks as well as making his team tick in the middle of the park. Thoi is strongly built and good on the ball with a simple passing game. He will look to give his team the edge in this crucial derby game and make a winning start in Mumbai colours.
Juan Quero-DSK Shivajians: The Spaniard was a permanent fixture in Derrick Pereira’s XI last season and was one of the bright sparks for the side during the last I-League. With a massively revamped squad and new management at the club, the 32-year-old shall remain the go to man in creativity and attack for the Pune side. Quero, the man charged with taking set-pieces, was greatly influential during the Durand Cup scoring three goals. Playing in a free role should only benefit the No. 10.
Mumbai FC (4-4-2): Kattimani, Pratik, Lalchhawnkima, Fernandes, Reagan, Kadam, Hanghal, Thoi, Steven, Farukh, Victorino.
DSK Shivajians (3-5-2): Paul, Ricky, Sasha, Dhot, McPaul, Lalrinzuala, Jerry, Milan, Chettri, Quero, Kim-Song.
The match will be broadcasted live on Ten 2 from 07:00 PM. You can also follow the live commentary on www.khelnow.com.